A collagen extraction and deuterium oxide stable isotope tracer method for the quantification of bone collagen synthesis rates in vivo Article (Faculty180)

cited authors

  • Civil, Rita; Brook, Matthew S; Elliott-Sale, Kirsty J; Santos, Lívia; Varley, Ian; Lensu, Sanna; Kainulainen, Heikki; Koch, Lauren G; Britton, Steven L; Wilkinson, Daniel J; Smith, Kenneth; Sale, Craig; Atherton, Philip J


  • The development of safe and practical strategies to prevent weakening of bone tissue is vital, yet attempts to achieve this have been hindered by a lack of understanding of the short-term (days-weeks) physiology of bone collagen turnover. To address this, we have developed a method to quantify bone collagen synthesis in vivo, using deuterium oxide (D O) tracer incorporation techniques combined with gas chromatography pyrolysis isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (GC-pyrolysis-IRMS). Forty-six male and female rats from a selectively bred model ingested D O for 3 weeks. Femur diaphyses (FEM), tibia proximal (T-PRO), and distal (T-DIS) epiphyses-metaphyses and tibia mid-shaft diaphyses (T-MID) were obtained from all rats after necropsy. After demineralisation, collagen proteins were isolated and hydrolysed and collagen fractional synthetic rates (FSRs) determined by incorporation of deuterium into protein-bound alanine via GC-pyrolysis-IRMS. The collagen FSR for the FEM (0.131 ± 0.078%/day; 95% CI [0.106-0.156]) was greater than the FSR at T-MID (0.055 ± 0.049%/day; 95% CI [0.040-0.070]; p < 0.001). The T-PRO site had the highest FSR (0.203 ± 0.123%/day; 95% CI [0.166-0.241]) and T-DIS the lowest (0.027 ± 0.015%/day; 95% CI [0.022-0.031]). The three tibial sites exhibited different FSRs (p < 0.001). Herein, we have developed a sensitive method to quantify in vivo bone collagen synthesis and identified site-specific rates of synthesis, which could be applicable to studies of human bone collagen turnover.

publication date

  • 2021

published in

start page

  • e14799


  • 9